Who: Woo Yara (Reader) x Jackson Wang x Park Jinyoung
What: Romance ( might have smut)
Story: Yara's going to love herself because... well, she doesn't have another choice.
Jinyoung brought Yara to one of the fanciest restaurants she'd ever seen which made her even more nervous. She wanted to know what he was up to. She partly thought up ridiculous scenarios where he was going to set her up to be humiliated in public. Maybe he'd have Bohyun come out of nowhere and dumb water on her head. Childish tactics like that sounded like something that came out of high school but Yara didn't put it past Jinyoung to do something like that.
The place was gorgeous, the color scheme was so rich and vibrant. The white tables outside that they were sitting at looked like the whitest white to ever be created. The waiters walking around were handsome, people that stood out more than Yara herself, even with makeup on. They looked like models working until they got their big break. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, she thought. She didn't think she was as bad looking as Jinyoung tried to make her seem; although, she could admit that her wordrobe was in need of some serious upgrading. Her clothes were bigger on her because she had lost weight. It at first started from her not eating, it wasn't because of some mental disorder, she was just so busy she didn't allow herself time to eat properly. She'd have an apple here or there, maybe an energy bar but she wasn't having a full meal. It wasn't until she collapesed that Yunmi and Seoyeon scolded her.
Yara was never really concerned about her weight but when she did start eating normally again, food seemed to stick to her more that it used to. So she started working out with Yunmi and Seoyeon; she never thought to by new clothes. Part of her had always assumed that she might gain weight again so she might as well keep them. This was all before she even started working for Jinyoung or even met Jackson. She wondered if she had started out like this, would she have gotten the position she applied for.
Yara looked through the menu and saw all the expensive items.
"I can't afford one thing on this menu," she said bewildered.
Jinyoung smiled at her but it wasn't a warm smile. There was something cocky about it that she didn't like.
"I'm sure you can find at least one thing."
"Oh you're right," she looked at the waiter that had been standing there for a few seconds, "I'll have a glass of water. You can hold the lemon I can't afford that either."
Jinyoung laughed softly, he actually seemed amused by it.
"I'm paying for lunch idiot," he said sitting up straight.
"Oh so that means I can get the whole left side of the menu? How high would your credit go up?"
He seemed tickled by her smart mouth,
"You can do whatever pleases you."
She didn't like the way that sounded. It was too...suggestive. She didn't want to make this last longer than she needed so she made her order simple and quick. Jinyoung hadn't even looked at the menu, he named off everything he wanted, how he wanted it cooked and even managed to give the waiter a pleasant smile. The waiter disappeared to do his job meanwhile Yara was ready to find out exactly why he'd taken her out here.
"Why exactly am I here again Mr.Park?" She asked.
"Call me Jinyoung, at least while we're here."
"I think I pefer to call you Mr.Park," she said.
"And I'd perfer Jinyoung."
He was very firm in what he wanted to be called. She felt as though she should comply, not simply because he was her boss but out of respect of the fact that it was the name he wanted to be referred by.
"Alright, well what exactly am I doing here?" She asked.
He was silent for a moment which made her shake her head at him as if to ask what the hell was his problem. He looked her in the eye and said,
"Oh I'm sorry were you talking to me?"
"Who else would I be talking to?"
"I don't know you didn't say my name. How am I to know you're talking to me?"
"Really?" She said annoyed.
His smile seemed to change its meaning, it was still teasing but it was more like he was daring her. It also felt like the look he was giving her was like he was testing her. She sighed, and gave in.
"Why am I here--Jinyoung?"
He chuckled into his fist,
"I can't believe you said it."
"What the hell! You just said."
He was so tiring. He was like a child. Jinyoung's smirk turned softer and more genuine now. He took a sip of the wine the waiter dropped by and said,
"You always do what you're told Yara, no wonder you blend in. Having you in HR is best for the company, you're intelligent and you pay attention to detail. You're honestly the best head of the HR Department this company has ever had."
"That's no excuse for hiring me for an entirely different job and then sticking me with HR."
"Maybe so but do you know the reason I decided to leave you there?"
"If I said what I thought you might leave me with the bill," she pouted.
That made Jinyoung smile. He was starting to like her a little more. Why did it take her four years to get fed up with how he treated her? He didn't care much about her before as long as she did her job that was all that mattered. She was forgotten for the rest of the day. She wasn't rich but she had a sophistication about her that she was even showing to him at the moment. She spoke clean and she was organized but she was just head of HR. It partly annoyed him a little that she was interesting to him now and he didn't know why.
"After you left my office this morning, I phoned your old boss to ask him why he put a marketing major as head of HR. Do you know what he said?" Jinyoung asked.
"I'm sure it was along the lines of, she never says no."
She wasn't wrong, that's exactly what he said.
"Yes actually but he also said that you lacked ambition. He highly doubted you would ever leave the company and even more you never asked for a raise. All that time."
"How can you say I lack ambition? I made an entire presentation for your new project on the most effective marketing."
"Did you show it to me?"
"I was planning to," she said defensively.
Jinyoung smiled bigger and leaned forward to test her,
"Oh really, when?"
Yara quickly got quiet. He had called her out on her lie. She was a little embarrassed by that. Jinyoung sighed and sat back up feeling accomplished some how. Seeing her cheeks turn a little pink made him find her amusing. She wasn't beautiful in his eyes, not like the waitresses that worked here but she had kept his attention far more than any other girl has ever done.
"You'd be a little more interesting if you took more risks. As it stands now you won't catch any ones attention," he said.
"Oh I don't think that'll be a problem."
The waiter came back with their meals and set them down as she placed a napkin on her lap. She said,
"I was able to catch your attention and all it took was a simple upgrade in woredrobe."
"What makes you think that?"
"Four years and this is the first time you've talked to me like I'm a legitimate person with more to offer than being your servant. Or maybe it has something to do with the incredibly shocked expression you had on your face when you finally looked up at me," she smiled.
By no means did she think Jinyoung had any feelings for her, but she knew one thing for sure, he had confirmed that she was indeed valuable to the company. Jinyoung held his head up a little higher as if to seem more powerful. She took a bite of her food and tried to hide the shock on her face when she tasted it. It was so flavorful. She feared if she opened her mouth she might drool a little. She took a sip of water hoping to hide the look in her eyes. She didn't want to give Jinyoung any kind of satisfaction that he had opened her up to a new experience.
"You're becoming too cocky Yara, don't forget I'm still the boss."
The amount of confidence she was showing was making him even more interested. Her smartass smirk was even amusing to him. He wondered how much fun he could have with her. Would she stay this cocky or would she go back to blending into the background?
"Oh you finally want to find someone that will actually do work instead of working your pants?"
"Don't be crude Yara."
"You're right sir I apologize."
"Is it necessary to be so formal to me at the moment?"
"It's good to keep boundaries when dealing with co workers and even more so when you're my boss. I'm here because you basically ordered me and I've stepped out of line a few times to demonstrate that I will be standing up for myself from now. However, anymore than that is unnecessary."
"You just insulted me and my former secretary."
She thought for a moment,
"Is it an insult if it's true? Everyone knows what you do, it's obvious. However, you're right what you two do in your private time is only for you two to know."
"Maybe I was wrong about you."
"You were," she said matter-of-factly.
She smiled, it was a smile of compromise but even Jinyoung could tell she felt some sort of victory over him. He figured he'd let her have it. He wanted to know what she would do given a victory. How much bolder would she become over time?
When they finished eating, Jinyoung attempted to get her to talk about herself but she was a bit vague opting to stay as professional as possible now that most of the tension had disappeared. Jinyoung and Yara headed back to the office. Jinyoung saw her off, telling her that she should start looking for his new secretary before he gives her more work. She was about to bite back but now realizing he was just testing her, she looked back at him and said,
"If you do I'll burn every page of it in front of your face."
Jinyoung chuckled and Yara strutted off to her office. She felt confidence washing over her but there was something that seemed a little off now. She thought about the exchange in the hall and even at lunch. Was their behavior flirtatious?
No! No way, he may have noticed me but someone doesn't change their taste in people that quickly. Besides, I don't think of him like that.
That was all she needed to settle her mind. The end of the day came with her finishing a good amount of work to leave her satisfied. Thankfully she wasn't leaving as late as she had Friday night so she wouldn't be running into Jinyoung. She smiled to herself as she thought about what else she would wear. Maybe Yunmi would give her some advice. If she could make sure that he paid attention to her then maybe, she might finally be able to get him to move her to the marketing department. Then the thought hit her again, she was only valuable to him in HR and she didn't want that position. He could always find someone else but at this point she figured he was to lazy to try. She could look for someone as well to help exchange but that would only work if he agreed to promote her. She figured she'd just wait it out and see how far it got her.
Yunmi and Yara met up at a pizza place where Yara explained the whole lunch conversation to her. Yunmi hugged her happily,
"Finally! You told that asshole off. He must've really respected you maybe that's why he took you to lunch," She said.
"Could be but for some reason I feel like something else was behind his motive for taking me to lunch. Now that he knows someone is stealing from the company he wants me to keep looking into it just more covertly. I just feel like he's trying to prove his point that I'm meant to stay in HR."
"Well what about the presentation you set up? I mean he must've thought you had something going for you because he approved you getting hired all those years ago and it was for the marketing job."
Yara slumped in her chair and let her cheek rest on her fist. Yunmi had a point but something Jinyoung had said about talking to her past employers made her feel like he never intended to have her in marketing. She rarely said no and apparently lacked ambition, maybe he hired her under false pretenses. That depressed her a little more. Yunmi noticing her friend's change in demeanor patted her arm and said,
'"Hey don't go forgetting your victory today. Jackson and Seoyeon would be so proud of you."
"I know. I just have-"
"Yara stop. Look you do tons of research to make products interesting to the public so they'll buy it. Why can't you make yourself interesting in the same way? Make him want you."
"I didn't mean like that," she thought about it for a second, "although you are a bit over due for some romance."
"I'd rather not, thank you," Yara gave her a smile.
"Oh come on, how long has it been?"
"Hey that's not fair that one was completely random."
"Are you saying you didn't have a good time?" Yunmi pressed.
"We had fun but I know it wasn't going to go anywhere. I wasn't his type."
"What do you mean? I've been happy these past years."
"Being content and happy are two very different things and you know it. Look I'm not saying hook up with your boss but I am saying-- it's time to take your life back. You were so cute in our freshman year of college and maybe it was how happy he made you that kept that spark of life in your eye but after--you changed. You became silent, you cared less about how you looked. It wasn't that you dressed bad but you never went to buy new clothes that fit you, you stopped wearing makeup completely even though you never used a lot before. Things you used to do just vanished and honestly I'm happy that Jackson brought that back in you. I'm happy he aggressively shows you love because I really think it's what you need."
"You do deserve to move on," Yunmi said as if reading her thoughts.
Yara nodded but Yunmi felt as if she hadn't made too much of an impact. She changed the subject to keep her from feeling bad and the girls told stories to each other and laughed. Yara and Yunmi headed their separate ways. Yara got home and readied for bed when Jackson gave her a ring.
"Oh a soft greeting, I'm surprised," she answered with a smile.
"It's late and you have work tomorrow. The concert is going great, we're in the green room watching."
"You put in a lot of effort. I'm glad it's going great."
"How did your first day as confident Yara go?"
"It went okay."
She said it so casually that Jackson immediate called bullshit. He wanted details which made her giggle.
"He took me out to Lunch."
"Wow! He asked you out?"
"No, you idiot. He just made me go to lunch with him. I think he wanted to firmly solidfy that it didn't matter what I did I would stay in HR. He says I lack ambition."
"Well he may have a point there."
"I just mean that in companies like that ambition is really just ruthlessly doing whatever you have to, to whoever in order to move up the later or maintain your spot. Your personality isn't like that."
"You have a point."
"You should keep working at it though. If he was willing to take you to lunch then that means he at least notices you. It also means he's aware of what you're trying to do."
That's what worried her. Jinyoung might be relentless, maybe she'd be wasting another four years of her life trying to get into marketing. She wanted to say she wanted to quit but if she said that to Jackson he'd call her out for being scared. With Yunmi's speech still in her head, she decided to keep the comment to herself. She leaned back on the bed with a sigh.
"You're probably right," she said.
"Good! I'm glad you agree. Now one more thing before I let you go."
"I just want you to know that you are FUCKING AMAZING! I want you to know it and believe it because if you don't I will smoother you to death with my kisses."
"Ah I was wondering when my daily dose of Aggressive Affection was gonna show up."
"Gotta keep up with it. Don't want you to forget how beautiful and wondeful you are, best friend."
"Thank you Jackson. Goodnight."
"Goodnight," he said with warmth.
Jackson really was a great guy. He reminded her a little of-- no, you only think that because Yunmi talked about him tonight, she thought. She squeezed her pillow tightly trying to drown out memories as she fell asleep...
Shall we date Kpop?